Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

The Hebridean Weaving Lilt

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

The Hebridean Weaving Lilt
Mary Isdal MacNab   S C D Book of Four Set Dances
Schottische   88 bars   4 Couple Repeat   4 Couple Set   Longwise Set


  1-4   all dos-à-dos (advance, pass partners by the right, pass back-to-back and retire, passing by the left);

  5-8   repeat bars 1-4;


  9-12 all turn partners by the right and dance back to the side lines;

13-16 all turn partners by the left and dance back to the side lines;


17-18 1s cross down to finish between 4s;

19-20 1L4M 1M4L turn by the left and 1s turn by the right;

21-22 1s repeat bars 19-20 with 3s;

23-24 1s repeat bars 19-20 with 2s, finishing in original places;


25-28 WHILE 2M3M4M kneel and clap at the beginning of each bar, 1s make an arch over the Mn's side and run to the bottom of the set;

29-32 WHILE 2L3L4L kneel and clap at the beginning of each bar, 1s make an arch over the Ls' side and run to the top of the set, finishing in places;


33-34 all take both hands with partners, 2s 3s 4s run straight towards Ls' side and back WHILE 1s (THE SHUTTLE), going diagonally down, run towards Mn's side and back so as to finish between 2s and 3s;

35-36 repeat bars 33-34, 1s finishing between 3s and 4s;

37-38 repeat bars 33-34, finishing 1s below 4s, 2s3s4s in places;

39-40 taking nearer hands, 1s lead up to places;


41-41 all join nearer hands with partners, 1s lead down under arch made by 2s WHILE 3s lead down under arch made by 4s;

42-42 2s (at top) turn about to face down WHILE 3s (at bottom) turn about to face up WHILE 4s lead up under arch made by 1s;

43-48 repeat bars 41-42 three times from new positions, all finishing in original places;


49-49 Ls move half a place down the set, cross arms left over right and take partner's right arm with left, next M's left arm with right;

50-56 without breaking the holds and led by 4L, all dance up the centre line under the joined arms (4M 3M 2M turn under their own left arms) and dance anticlockwise to finish 1M1L2M2L on the Mn's side, 4L4M3L3M on the Ls', 1M4L briefly taking hands to finish by completing the circle;


57-60 4L, dropping 1M's hand, continue anticlockwise, winding the dancers tightly around 1M (the BOBBIN) who does not move;

61-64 without breaking the holds and led by 1M, all dance under 4s joined hands and continue clockwise, finishing in the circle as at bar 56;


65-66 all face partners, put left hand on hip (to make an EYELET) and turn by the right 1½ times;

67-68 all face next dancer (M to L), put right hand on hip (to make an EYELET) and turn by the left 1½ times;

69-72 repeat bars 65-68 from new positions, finishing facing partners halfway round the circle;


73-74 all join crossed hands with partners, lean outwards and dance round once;

75-88 repeat bars 73-74 ad lib while progressing anticlockwise around the room and, led by the 4s, dance out through the exit.

(MAXICRIB, Scottish country dancing instructions compiled by Reuben Freemantle)

Dance Notes

The official step is a running step with four steps to each bar and strong accentuation on the first (right foot) step of each bar; making arches should be similarly staccato.
One hand turns are made with linked arms, ceilidh style.
Take care over the phrasing:
Figures 1 and 2 are deceptively slow;
Figures 3, 6, 7 and 8 are very quick.
Each of the ten figures is intended to fit into an 8 bar phrase but there are normally 88 bars in recorded music; ideally, the extra 8 bars should be used at the end as shown. If a figure is not finished in the allotted time, the dancers should officially run on the spot until the new phrase begins but recorded music will allow only one such extension and Figure 10 will then have to be reduced to 8 bars.
Figures 7 and 8 are strong candidates for the extra 8 bars; the figures can conveniently be run together over 24 bars, with any running on the spot at the end of Figure 8, only.
Figures 2 and 3 can also be run together beneficially; by completing Figure 2 in 6 bars, the cross down at the beginning of Figure 3 can be spread over 4 bars rather than 2.

Dance Instruction Videos

The Hebridean Weaving Lilt - Scottish Country Dancing Instruction Video

Dance Information

The traditional tune for this dance, The Hebridean Weaving Lilt, is Brochan Lom - Song, the children's Gaelic song whose title means "Thin gruel".

The music is in the traditional Strathspey rhythm but at the speed of a Highland Dancing Strathspey or a Schottische.

Brochan Lom Song - Information Video

Hebridean Weaving Image
Loom Weaving Tartan In Lochcarron, Western Scotland

Image Copyright Karora (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Additional search terms: Ceilidh Dance.

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